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Croat Med J. 2002 Apr;43(2):190-4.

Management of refugee crisis in Albania during the 1999 Kosovo conflict.

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Ministry of Health, Bajram Curri Blvd., Tirana, Albania.


The report presents key data on Kosovo refugees in Albania during the 1999 crisis in Kosovo. In a three-month period, from March through May 1999, Albania received, accommodated, and cared for 479,223 officially registered refugees from Kosovo (FR Yugoslavia). Many foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations helped the Albanian government during the crisis. The Government cooperated with the organizations through Government Commission, which appointed a Special Coordinator to the Emergency Management Group that coordinated factors and actions in the field. A Health Desk was established by the Emergency Management Group to provide an overview of the health impact of the crisis upon refugees and domestic Albanian population. There were no serious outbreaks of infectious diseases, but the Health Desk registered 2,165 cases of diarrhea without and 14 cases of diarrhea with blood in the stool. Scabies and lice affected around 4% of the refugees. After the refugees returned to Kosovo, Emergency Management Group continued to coordinate the work on the rehabilitation of the refugee-affected areas. In this phase, humanitarian emergency work served as a bridge between emergency activities and normal development.

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